An assessment of subsoil organic carbon stocks in England and Wales

A - Papers appearing in refereed journals

Gregory, A. S., Kirk, G. J. D., Keay, C. A., Rawlins, B. G., Wallace, P. and Whitmore, A. P. 2014. An assessment of subsoil organic carbon stocks in England and Wales. Soil Use and Management. 30 (1), pp. 10-22.

AuthorsGregory, A. S., Kirk, G. J. D., Keay, C. A., Rawlins, B. G., Wallace, P. and Whitmore, A. P.
Abstract

It is estimated that half the soil carbon globally is in the subsoil, but data are scarce. We updated estimates of subsoil organic carbon (OC) in England and Wales made by Bradley etal. (2005) using soil and land-use databases and compared the results with other published data. We estimated that the soils of England and Wales contained 1633, 1143 and 506Tg of OC at 0-30, 30-100 and 100-150cm depths, respectively. Thus, half of the soil OC was found below 30cm depth. Peat soils accounted for the largest proportion, containing 44% of all the OC below 30cm despite their small areal extent, followed by brown soils, surface-water gley soils, ground-water gley soils and podzolic soils. Peat soils had more than 25% of their profile OC per unit area in the 100-150cm depth, whereas most other soils had <8% at this depth. The differences between soil types were consistent with differences in soil formation processes. Differences in depth distributions between land uses were small, but subsoil OC stocks in cultivated soils were generally smaller than in soils under grassland or other land uses. Data on subsoil OC stocks in the literature were scarce, but what there was broadly agreed with the findings of the above database exercise. There was little evidence by which to assess how subsoil OC stocks were changing over time.

KeywordsSoil Science
Year of Publication2014
JournalSoil Use and Management
Journal citation30 (1), pp. 10-22
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.1111/sum.12085
Open accessPublished as non-open access
FunderBiotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council
Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Funder project or codeCropping Carbon (CC) [ISPG]
Delivering Sustainable Systems (SS) [ISPG]
Maximising carbon retention in soils
Quantifying Sustainable Systems
Soil carbon: Studies to explore greenhouse gas emissions and mitigation
Copyright licensePublisher copyright
PublisherWiley
British Society of Soil Science (BSSS)
Grant IDSP1106
ISSN0266-0032

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